Olen Steinhauer's first two novels, The Bridge of Sighs and The Confession, launched an acclaimed literary crime series set in post-World War II Eastern Europe. Now he takes his dynamic cast of characters into the shadowy political climate of the 1960s. State Security Officer Brano Sev's job is to do what his superiors ask, no matter what-even if that means leaving his post to work the assembly line in a factory, fitting electrical wires into gauges. So when he gets a directive from his old bosses-the intimidating men above him at the Ministry of State Security, collectively known for the address of their headquarters on Yalta Boulevard, a windowless building consisting of blind offices and dark cells-he follows orders. This time he is to resume his job in State Security and travel to the village of his birth in order to interrogate a potential defector. But when a villager turns up dead shortly after he arrives, Brano is framed for the murder. Again trusting his superiors, he assumes this is part of their plan and allows it to run its course, a decision that leads him into exile in Vienna, where he finally begins to ask questions. The answers in 36 Yalta Boulevard, Olen Steinhauer's tour-de-force political thriller, teach Comrade Brano Sev that loyalty to the cause might be the biggest crime of all.
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by Olen Steinhauer
by Nigel Spivey
by Ronald Radosh
by Richard Matheson
by Mavis Gallant
"After being framed for murder, convicted, and sent to work in a factory, Brano Sev, agent for an unnamed Eastern Bloc state, begins to question what his bosses at the Ministry of State Security are up to. Yuri Rasovsky's performance meticulously develops the existential plight of the middle-aged spy, using an imaginative collection of personalities to build the double-dealings and betrayals inherent in the business. Rasovsky's character voices range from wheezy to gravelly, from high-pitched to dark and sinister as Sev slips in and out of the perils of paranoia in this tightly plotted thriller. Rasovsky's intelligent grasp of the convoluted material places both a complex puzzle and its solution within reach. S.J.H. (c) AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine"
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